College tips for 12th Graders

Here are 5 tips for our 12 Graders; by Nellie Naidoo

1)      Develop a smart short list for Colleges: You normally want to choose 3 safety schools, 3-5 tier 1 schools, and 2 Ivy League (if you think you make the requirements).  You can plug in your school choice in Naviance and the graph will show you what are your chances in getting into your school choice.  This will be a great guide for making your smart list.

2)      Consider Early Options: Some 47 percent of colleges reported an increase in the number of applicants accepted through binding early decision for the fall of 2012, meaning the students promised to attend if accepted and 68 percent saw a jump in nonbinding early-action acceptances, where students get word early, without an obligation, according to NACAC.

3)      Show Sincere Interest:  As it becomes easier for students to apply multiple schools electronically and by using the common application, you have no reason not to take your time in a well-constructed essay.  Make sure you don’t mistakenly send the wrong essay thanking the wrong school.  Get a minimum of 3 family members/teachers to read your final essay before sending it.  Be sincere and honest and make sure you write your own essay.  The people that read your essay have years of experience, after reading the first paragraph, they will know whether it is written by you or an adult.

4)      Pay Attention to Details: Optional Essays? Write them.  A chance to elaborate on our extracurricular activities? Take it. For students on the bubble, that bit of extra effort can make the difference in whether or not you’re admitted.

5)      Take the Lead: Throughout the process, it’s crucial to remember that you, not your parents, are running the show.  Take charge of creating your list, of arranging visits and interviews (and then do the talking), and of reaching out to the admissions office with questions on your own, rather than having your mom do it on her lunch hour.